As a breast cancer survivor, I’m not sure whether I love October or fear it. Seeing the spectrum of pink colors everywhere can be overwhelming. It’s a constant reminder that I’m sick. And yes, I know that thousands of women and men are afflicted with this disease yearly, so the pink promotion isn’t about me being ill. But sometimes, I just get inside my head. My thoughts go to the scary places that we all want to push away. And sometimes, I just want to cry.
“The current system is failing consumers,” a quote today during the U.S. Senate committee meeting on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions about the cosmetics industry. Personal care products are being regulated under laws that haven’t been updated since 1938, so a number of advocacy groups and political leaders are working to change this through the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It doesn’t matter your socio-economic status, personal background or where you live in this country…you should care. Why? Because what you put on your body, goes into your bloodstream. Many toothpastes, shaving creams, lotions, shampoos, lipsticks, gel nail polish, hair straighteners and the list goes on…are filled with toxins. Our skin is our largest organ and we absorb all the chemicals into our bodies. Studies have shown that these toxins may include hormone disrupters that fuel cancers, agitate allergies and influence fertility. So, what can you do?
Do you remember the early months of your child’s life and the fear of sickness that went along with it? Whether you put them in daycare or signed up for mommy-and-me classes, their exposure to the outside world introduced them to heaps of germs. For me, three days into my son’s daycare career, he came home with sniffles and a fever. I cried. I stayed up all night nursing every moan. And I somehow believed that his immune system would be stronger as it fought off these minor illnesses early in life.
Maybe true. Maybe not. Now as a second grader, he still gets sick every now and then. However, it’s minimal with preventative care. I use natural products and modalities to boost his immunity so that he stays well and so do we. If his body is healthy from the start, it can naturally fight off the sickness that gets passed around in school.
Sometimes I forget I had cancer.
Sometimes I forget I have cancer.
Sometimes I forget how very lucky I am to be living in an age where we have information at our finger tips. It’s frightening and often overwhelming to skim the daunting prognosis stats, hear the triumphant stories and research every ache. Whether it’s right or wrong to self diagnose, initiate treatments or push doctors for more, at least we have it. So many people don’t. So many did not.
It’s back-to-school season, and while most of us rush to find the best sales on the teacher recommended supplies, it’s also important to keep an eye out for eco-friendly items. Not only do they help the environment, but they’re also better for our children’s health.